Possible shortage of ventilators soon in PA worry officials

Caroline Glus and Lauren Cribbs

Due to the virus, COVID-19, there is a major shortage of ventilators, a machine that provides oxygen to help patients breathe. COVID-19 affects the lungs tremendously and the use of ventilators can help, but with the quickly spreading virus of many people, there becomes an issue.  

These machines are in very high demand due to the virus. When there is inflammation in a patient’s lungs, a ventilator is needed to breathe for them. 

The lack of ventilators has become a dire problem for many hospitals, including a plea for 30,000 machines for New York state alone. According to The New York Times, as of April 1, 2020, there are a total of 83,760 Coronavirus cases in New York and 47,439 of those cases being in New York City alone.

Pennsylvania has at least 42,800 beds in nearly 250 hospitals, a Department of Health database shows. About 20% of infected patients will be hospitalized and require breathing assistance with a ventilator. According to the York Daily Record, patients in Pennsylvania will not need to worry about the shortage of ventilators yet, but possibly soon.

According to The New York Times, the federal government has been working with several companies to find a way to produce the ventilation systems quickly and as cost efficient as possible. 

The White House had been preparing to reveal a $1,000,000 deal between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems. This partnership would allow for the production of as many as 80,000 ventilators as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the New York Times, word then spread that the announcement was off. 

The government continues to seek a solution to this problem. According to ABC News, experts have warned the government that even if the equipment can be produced, facilities could face a shortage of healthcare workers trained to use them.